Ayckbourn for Company of Ten at Abbey Theatre, St Albans

10:04 11 May 2014

Round and Round the Garden

Round and Round the Garden

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With summer not really in evidence until the beginning of next month, the Company of Ten is aiming to bring a bit of sunshine to audiences at the Abbey Theatre with their next production.

They are putting on Alan Ayckbourn’s Round and Round the Garden, one of his famous trilogy of plays entitled The Norman Conquests which were first produced in 1973.

All set in the same country house over a single weekend, the three plays follow the efforts of assistant librarian Norman to seduce not only his wife’s sister but also her sister-in-law.

Each play shows the events from the perspective of a different location – dining room (Table Manners), living room (Living Together) and garden (Round and Round the Garden). But while the plays complement each other, they also work independently and can be enjoyed in their own right.

Round and Round the Garden, which is being performed from next Thursday, May 15, and runs until Saturday, May 24, includes plenty of unlikely situations and physical humour.

But according to director Alan Bobroff, it is the quality of comic writing that really makes the play stand out. He explained: “Rather than relying on the knockabout of farce to produce laughs, Ayckbourn creates the comedy in the personalities of his characters and the dialogue he has written for them.

“During rehearsals we were constantly finding little nuggets of comedy hidden in the writing.”

He added: “To have the opportunity to direct a play by one of our favourite playwrights and one who especially appeals to audiences at this theatre, is a particular delight.”

Performances take place at 8pm from from Thursday, May 15, to Saturday, May 17, at 2.30pm on Sunday, May 18, and again at 8pm from Wednesday, May 21, to Saturday, May 24.

Tickets are available from www.abbeytheatre.org.uk or call the box office on 01727 857861.

There will be an audio-described performance for blind and partially sighted people on Thursday, May 20, and audience members wishing to use this service should book in advance.

n The charity performance of Round and Round the Garden on Tuesday, May 20, is for the Mark Lindgren Memorial Fund, set up by a St Albans family in memory of their son who was killed in Uganda in March 1999 at the age of 23.

It is a small grant-giving charity which aims to help young people at schools and universities who want to fulfil their individual aims but for various reasons cannot afford to.

Tickets can be obtained by contacting www.marksfund.org.uk

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